Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

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Almighty and everlasting God, we beseech thee to spare them that are patient, and to be favorable to them that call upon thee: vouchsafe, we beseech thee, to send thine Angel from heaven to + bless and + sanctify these ashes, that they may be a wholesome medicine to all them that humbly call upon thy holy Name, who in their consciences are accused by sin, who bewail their sins in the sight of thy heavenly mercy, and meekly implore thy gracious loving-kindness. We beseech thee to grant to all them that call upon thy holy Name, that being sprinkled with these ashes for the remission of their sins, they may be preserved evermore both in body and soul; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, who desirest not the death of sinners, but that they turn from their wickedness and live: we beseech thee to have compassion upon the frailty of our mortal nature, and of thy goodness to + bless these ashes now to be set upon our heads for a token of humility and for the remission of our sins: that we, acknowledging ourselves to be but dust and ashes, and that by reason of our vileness we must return unto the same, may of thy mercy be found worthy to obtain the pardon of our offences and the reward that thou dost promise to them that are penitent; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, who turnest unto them that abase themselves and art favorable unto them that offer atonement: incline thy merciful ear unto our prayers, and of thy pity pour forth upon the heads of thy servants now sprinkled with these ashes the grace of thy heavenly benediction, that they being filled with the spirit of true repentance may effectually obtain those things that they have asked according to thy will. And we beseech thee to ordain that we, being established in these thy blessings, may cleave unto the same to life everlasting; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God, who upon the people of Nineveh, repenting in dust and ashes, didst bestow the healing of thy loving-kindness: mercifully grant that we who do now imitate them in outward fashion, may be made like unto them in the obtaining of thy pardon; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Celebrant blesses the ashes with incense and with holy water, saying
Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; *
thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

After the ministration of ashes, the Celebrant says
Let us pray.
Grant us, O Lord, to begin with holy fasting this campaign of our Christian warfare: that as we do battle with spiritual wickedness, we may be defended by the aids of self-denial; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bless, O Lord, these lemon sandwiches, and vouchsafe that all who partake of the same be reminded by the sourness thereof that they were supposed to be fasting today in the first place. Amen.